By: Eleanor Bradford, BBC Scotland Health Correspondent, 7 September 201
'Sometimes you just want to punch someone'
A study on children has found further evidence that ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, could be caused by a virus.
Scientists at the University of Dundee study found abnormalities in the white blood cells of children with ME/CFS, suggesting they had been fighting off infection.
In the study, funded by ME Research UK and The Young ME Sufferers (Tymes) Trust, 25 children aged between seven and 14 with ME/CFS were assessed, along with 23 children of a similar age in a control group.
The report, published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, said abnormalities were found in the blood of all the children with ME/CFS.
A much greater number of neutrophils, the most common type of white blood cells, were also found to be at the end of their lifecycle.
The report said the high turnover of neutrophils indicated the body's need to fight infection.
Professor Jill Belch, an expert in vascular medicine at Ninewells hospital in Dundee who led the latest research project, said: "What we've found are blood changes that suggest chronic inflammation.
"This is important because it's showing an abnormality that we might be able to devise a treatment for, but it's also important because some people do suggest that ME is a disease of the mind and here we are showing that it is a disease of the body."